John S. Leary Association of Black Attorneys


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Welcome to John S. Leary Association of Black Attorneys

Charlotte - Mecklenburg

John Sinclair Leary, Sr. launched the history of the local black bar in 1892 when he became the first black lawyer to practice in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Today, approximately 400 black lawyers practice law in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

Born to free black parents in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Leary entered Howard University School of Law in 1871 and became the second African-American lawyer admitted to the bar in North Carolina and first in Charlotte. His law office was located on E. Trade Street in Charlotte, North Carolina. Leary served in the State Legislature representing Cumberland County for two terms during the Reconstruction Era. He also served as a school board member, the first dean of the law department at Shaw University, and a delegate to the Republican National Convention…

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2016 Executive Officers

  • Tamara Okoli & Toussaint Romain, Co-Chairs
  • Erica Willis, Co-Vice Chairs
  • Tiffany Mack, Secretary
  • Lawrence Wooden, Treasurer
  • Jerri Simmons, Parliamentarian



  • Lakai Vinson & Morris F. McAdoo, Co-Chairs
  • Dominique Camm & Harold Cogdell, Co-Vice Chairs
  • Beady Waddell, III, Secretary
  • Erin Taylor, Treasurer